Tell LEGO to End Their Partnership with Oil Giant Shell

by 07/10/14   filed under: green family, green toys

arctic, shell oil, lego and shell, lego bricks, legos, shell drilling arctic, arctic drilling, oil drilling, arctic oil

As part of a new co-promotion, LEGO, everyone’s favorite toy brick company, has partnered with Shell, well known oil giant of the world. As part of the partnership, LEGO has actually branded Shell’s logo on a special set of LEGO toys, thus gaining Shell even more global advertising, not to mention forcing kids into brand recognition of a company that plays a role in destroying the planet and thereby their very future. This new partnership is clever on the part of Shell, who has a rightfully horrid reputation due to their controversial Arctic drilling plans. If Shell was looking to partner with a company who can boost their image in spite of the implications of drilling the very fragile Arctic, home to wildlife such as polar bears, whales, walruses and more, they picked the right company. I mean, who doesn’t love LEGO? Beyond drilling harming Arctic wildlife, Greenpeace points out that the Arctic helps regulate global climate, yet when drilled, Arctic ices will only melt faster. Plus, if there’s an oil spill in the Arctic, it’ll be near impossible to clean up. Greenpeace would like to set up a global sanctuary in the uninhabited area around the North Pole and get a ban on offshore oil drilling and unsustainable fishing in the wider Arctic region, but will this happen if everyone gets on board with Shell’s grand Arctic plans because LEGO is standing up for their integrity? Maybe not. Luckily, you can help put a possible end to this partnership thanks to a new Greenpeace anti-Shell petition. The petition asks LEGO to cut ties with Shell right away so we can focus on not only keeping the Shell brand out of playrooms around the world but also move one step closer to keeping Shell out of the Arctic. Keep reading to see the heartwrenching video Greenpeace put together to urge LEGO to end to its partnership with Shell.

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C-Sections Cause Genetic Changes in Babies that May Lead to Increased Risk of Cancer, Asthma & Diabetes in Later Life

by 07/09/14   filed under: birth, health & body, news

birth complications, C-section, c-section rates too high, cesarean delivery, cesarean delivery rates, cesareans, labor complications, natural birth, vaginal birth, c-section gene changes

According to a new study, infants born via Cesarean section as opposed to vaginal birth, may experience epigenetic changes. Epigenetics are factors that can influence genetics. Basically, epigenetic changes have the ability to switch genes on or off and determine which proteins are transcribed. This could spell trouble for little ones born by C-section as the new research found higher rates of methylation in stem cells from babies delivered by by Cesarean. Methylation of DNA is a key player in whether or not genes are expressed within a cell and may affect the immune system for the long-term. Professor Tomas Ekstrom notes, “During a vaginal delivery, the fetus is exposed to an increased level of stress, which in a positive way will prepare the unborn baby for life outside the uterus. This activation of the fetus’ defense systems doesn’t occur when a cesarean section is performed before labor begins, which in turn could be a possible cause for the noticed differences between the groups.” The epigenetic changes may predispose a newborn to certain diseases later in life such as cancer, asthma and diabetes. However, this study was extremely small and as Ekstrom points out, epigenetic changes can be temporary or permanent. So far, without further research, no one is quite sure of the specific negative effects epigenetic changes may have on newborns, but it’s good information to have when considering issues such as elective C-sections. If you can have a vaginal birth, by all means do. C-sections are already associated with many other complications, including infection, heavy blood loss, clots, bowel problems, organ injury and once in a while death for mothers, while infants can experience injury, immature lungs and breathing problems.

+ Cesarean delivery and hematopoietic stem cell epigenetics in the newborn infant: implications for future health?

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HOW TO: Make Crispy, Gluten-Free Polenta Croutons On Spinach Citrus Salad

by 07/09/14   filed under: cooking, healthy recipe, how-to, recipes, vegan cooking

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10 Essential Items You Need to Create a Natural Medicine Cabinet - And How to Use Them

by 07/09/14   filed under: green baby, green family, green kids, health & body

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iPosture: A Syndrome on the Rise Among Kids Who Hunch Over Electronic Devices

by 07/08/14   filed under: health & body

iPosture Syndrome, computer addiction, get outside, green kids, green parenting, health hazards of screens, nature kids, road trips with kids, screen addiction, screen dangers, screen free, screen time, screen-free travel, smartphone addiction, too much screen time, tv dangers

Think it’s perfectly alright for your child to hunch over an iPad or iPhone? Think again. According to Leigh Sheldrick, a chiropractor with seventeen years of experience, on an increasing basis, young children are presenting with what she, and the Ollie Owl Pillow company are calling “iPosture Syndrome.” Sheldrick says, iPosture Syndrome, ‘refers to the forward head posture kids develop from spending too long hunched over electronic devices.” This syndrome can harm the muscles of the upper back and neck and may even result in kids as young as five, “stooping like a 60-year-old.” Digitally dependent kids can also experience another whole host of symptoms, including, poor posture and eyesight, strained wrists, thumbs and elbows, sleep problems, poor social skills and possible weight problems. Of course, kids shouldn’t be sitting in front of screens day in and day out, but the Ollie Owl Pillow company notes that their pillows, created just for kids, may help combat some neck and spine problems since they’re made just for little growing bodies. The iPosture Syndrome, in some ways, seems like just a way to sell pillows made especially for kids, but there’s also some truth to it, considering how much time kids spend staring at screens nowadays. Before you start thinking of buying pillows to thwart iPosture Syndrome, our advice is to keep screen time to a minimum.

RELATED | Technology & Kids: Startling Statistics Every Parent Should Know

+ Ollie Owl Pillows

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Scientists Discover Gene with Strong Link to Autism

by 07/08/14   filed under: health & body, kids health, news

12 month autism, asd, autism, autism in the womb, autism spectrum, autism spectrum disorder, autism therapy, autistic, baby autism, early autism detection, prenatal autism, autism gene

Over the years, in the quest to find out what, if any one thing causes Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), most researchers have been stumped. Now however, scientists from 13 institutions around the world, recently discovered that people with a mutation of the CHD8 gene have a ‘very strong’ likelihood of having autism. This gene mutation comes with some common characteristics, setting it apart from other genes, including gastrointestinal disorders, a larger head and wide set eyes. The team of researchers resequenced the ASD-associated gene CHD8 in 3,730 children with developmental delay or ASD and managed to identify a total of 15 independent mutations. Beyond individuals with this gene presenting with a high likelihood of ASD diagnosis, the subjects also had like-minded characteristics such as macrocephaly, distinct faces, and gastrointestinal complaints. Lead author of the new research, Raphael Bernier, told Daily Mail, “We finally got a clear cut case of an autism specific gene. This will be a game changer in the way scientists are researching autism.” The only downside to this breakthrough discovery is that fewer than half of all kids with autism, will have the specific kind of autism related to the CHD8 mutation. Still though, this research will likely lead to more findings based on genetic testing, plus of course, the kids with this CHD8 mutation may be able to receive more targeted treatments, earlier on.

RELATED | Top 10 Chemicals Most Likely to Cause Autism

+ Disruptive CHD8 Mutations Define a Subtype of Autism Early in Development

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BOOK REVIEW: Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids: His Life and Ideas

by 07/08/14   filed under: books

frank lloyd wright, book review, green design, design

Everything from blocks to alphabet cards have been designed to organically introduce babies and toddlers to the works of great artists, engineers, and architects. But as kids get older, introducing them to prominent creative types gets a little trickier. After all, who wants to make their kids feel like they are going to school during the hours they have at home? The revised and expanded edition of Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids: His Life and Ideas is a creative and fun way for kids to read about and experience hands-on the genius of an American architect and dreamer. Through well-organized chapters and observational and active lessons, kids will learn the basics behind Lloyd Wright’s life and become inspired to create in a multitude of ways.

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Seasonal Summer Salad: Black Bean, Corn, and Blueberry

by 07/07/14   filed under: cooking, green family, how-to, recipes, vegetarianism

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Infants Exposed to Dirt, Dander and Bacteria May Have Decreased Risks of Asthma and Allergies

Infants Exposed to Dirt, Dander and Bacteria May Have Decreased Risks of Asthma and Allergies

TweetEmailThe idea that regular exposure to dirt, grime and the great outdoors in general is very healthy for kids is nothing new, but now a new National Institutes of Health…

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Wild Fox Photography by Roeselien Raimond Reveals the Lovable Personalities of the Sly Mammals

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TweetEmail The photographer told Bored Panda about her experiences getting to know each animal through her camera lens. Roeselien Raimond photographs an array of adorable…

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HOW TO: Make Flour-Free Faux-Pasta Zucchini Lasagna

HOW TO: Make Flour-Free Faux-Pasta Zucchini Lasagna

1. Gather the ingredients 2 medium zucchinis 1 big eggplant 1 onion a bunch of spinach a few mushrooms extra virgin olive oil marine salt and pepper sesame seeds for garnish Raw…

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Korxx Sustainable Cork Blocks Make for a Quiet and Creative Building Playtime

Korxx Sustainable Cork Blocks Make for a Quiet and Creative Building Playtime

TweetEmail Building blocks are a foundational childhood toy, yet we love how people keep creating new versions with lots of variations. Korxx’s blocks are made from…

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7 Surprising Summer Remedies Sitting in Your Refrigerator

7 Surprising Summer Remedies Sitting in Your Refrigerator

1. Bananas I may sound, well, bananas, but the fruit (Musa acuminata) has a surprising number of uses besides pancake filling and ice cream topping. For example, in Jamaica the peel is…

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Toddlers Will Delight in Toys 'From the Seeds'

Toddlers Will Delight in Toys 'From the Seeds'

TweetEmailImaginative Toys from the seeds owner Amber notes that she strives to design and create open ended, long-lasting toys that encourage exploration and pretending so…

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Eco-friendly Family Companies Whose Products are Made in the USA

Eco-friendly Family Companies Whose Products are Made in the USA

Green Toys Green Toys is a unique toy company that uses recycled milk jugs to create their products. All of their products are produced and manufactured in California. Green Toys makes…

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HOW TO: Make an Easy Fourth of July Vegetarian Feast

HOW TO: Make an Easy Fourth of July Vegetarian Feast

TweetEmailPaninis Sure, panini might seem like a fancy word for sandwich, but paninis are truly so much more. Crisped bread and fillings smooshed together make a tasty meal,…

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HOW TO: Make a Festive Fourth of July Frozen Yogurt Fruit Pie

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TweetEmail 1. Gather the ingredients. Ingredients: 12 oz of vanilla yogurt (I used coconut milk yogurt to make the recipe vegan, but any yogurt, preferably one low in sugar,…

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Unstructured Playtime May Be Key to Helping Kids Achieve Independence and Success

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TweetEmail Summertime: the term once conjured up dreamy visions of kids biking or swimming, playing with their friends, camping out with s’mores, and generally reveling in…

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